93

2012 Neudorf, Moutere Pinot Noir, Nelson

( N/A, 13.5% )

Consistently among the top three Pinots in Nelson, the Finns’ best cuvée comes from the famous Moutere clays and tends to be quite a structured red, showing more tannin than many Kiwi Pinots, as well as backbone and acidity. It’s a thinking person’s Pinot that needs food to show at its best. Ambitious, cherrystone, pomegranate and raspberry fruit with a firm finish.  

BuyDrinking window: 2014-19Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
94

2012 Kusuda, Pinot Noir, Martinborough

( N/A, 13.5%, Hallowed Ground )

Is this New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir? It’s certainly in the top half dozen examples of the grape, a wine that nods towards Chambolle-Musigny as much as its native North Island. It’s a subtle, fragrant red with silky tannins, sustaining acidity, chalky minerality and a stylishly judged balance of oak, fruit and tannin. Winemaking of a high order. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
94

2013 Seresin, Osip Pinot Noir, Marlborough

( N/A, 13.5% )

Sourced from the Osip block in Seresin’s Raupo Creek Block, this biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir is a superb expression of its terroir: savoury and stylish with textured, supple tannins, deftly handled oak, bright acidity and remarkable depth and length. Still young, but will develop with age. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
93

2011 Paul Bertrand, Crocus, Malbec, Cahors, South West France

( £34.99, 14.5%, The Vineking )

What do you get when you cross Paul Hobbs, one of the leading New World wine consultants and a man who makes his own wines in Argetina, with a Frenchman producing wine in Cahors? The answer is something pretty special, a rich, ripe, but well balanced Malbec that sits midway between France and Argentina in style, with some of the perfume and plushness of the former and the structure of the latter. Inky, floral and refined with notes of plum and black cherry and sweet oak. 

Drinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Red, Malbec
94

NV Henriot Rosé, Champagne

( £46, 12%, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Oddbins, Planet of the Grapes )

A rosé that deserves to be just as famous as Laurent Perrier’s, this is a blend of mostly Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs with a little Pinot Meunier. The high percentage of reserve wines (25%) gives the wine added depth and complexity. It’s a complex, red fruit-dominated rosé with a hint of blackcurrant leaf, a balsamic undertone, fine bubbles and refeshing acidity. A really good food rosé.

Drinking window: 2014-16Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
94

2012 Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Nelson

( £37.80, 13.5%, Christopher Keiller )

Tim and Judy Finn’s Chardonnay is established as one of the three best Chardonnays in New Zealand and this vintage more than lives up to its reputation. It’s a leesy, creamy, deftly oaked wine with attractive stone fruit flavours, hints of cashew, oatmeal and toast and a focused, minerally finish. Superb stuff. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-17Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, White, Chardonnay
95

NV Henriot Blanc de Blancs, Champagne

( £44.00, 12%, Oddbins )

Sourced mostly from the Côte des Blancs and including 30% of reserve wines, Henriot’s Blanc de Blancs is a non vintage wine that tastes like a vintage release. It’s rich, toasty and just off dry with notes of brioche and toast and a subtle, tapering finish. One of the best Blanc de Blancs on the market. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Chardonnay
94

2012 Tolpuddle Chardonnay, Tasmania

( £39.00, 13%, Liberty Wines )

A remarkable Tasmanian Chardonnay from Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith, the team behind Shaw & Smith in the Adelaide Hills. This is dense, flavoursome stuff that wouldn’t look out of place in a Meursault Premier Cru bottle, with subtle, toasty oak, lots of mid-palate weight, flavours of struck flint, citrus and pear and a long, tapering finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, White, Chardonnay
92

2012 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir, Tasmania

( £45.00, 13%, Liberty Wines )

Not quite as thrilling as the Tolpuddle Chardonnay, but this is still an impressive Aussie Pinot from Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. Supple and fragrant, with aromas of rose petal and red fruits, a touch of oak, fine tannins and good grip on the finish. The cool climate acidity gives the wine real length on the finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-15Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Australia, Red, Pinot Noir
93

20 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley

( £33 down to £24.75, 20%, Marks & Spencer )

Made for M&S by Taylor’s brilliant winemaker, David Guimaraens, this is the kind of Tawny Port that makes grown men (and women) cry. It’s a very fine fortified, with a delicious balance between nutty, figgy fruit, added spirit and mature, barrel-aged rancio notes. Very sweet and very long on the palate, it would make a perfect Christmas treat. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-25Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Portugal, Fortified, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional